Ok, so that’s a fully loaded question. You should really know if your online advertising is working. If you have that nagging doubt in your mind that they’re not, then this post is for you.
You’ll see a consistent theme through any of my content. Have a specific goal and make sure you can measure progress against it. Tactics might change over time, but this strategy remains the same.
Here are the ten critical steps I’ve taught my team at LeadDigital to take when running online advertising campaigns
Start with the end in mind. What is the goal of the advertising campaign? Generate leads, downloads, purchases? Make sure you have a specific action that you want the visitors from your ad campaign to take.
It makes sense if you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it. So ensure that you have your google analytics accounts set up to track “goal conversions”
- Tracking Links
Each ad campaign should have a unique tracking link (Google “UTM links”). Combined with Google Analytics this should enable you to measure at least two things. Visitors and Goals from each source.
- Target Audience
Clearly define who you are targeting and their specific interests. Outline the pleasure or pain your product or service is addressing. You should have a clear picture of your ideal customer before moving onto the next step.
- Ad Headline & Copy
Don’t waste time talking about yourself. No one wants to know about you. It’s all about pleasure or pain. Specifically what pleasure you provide or what pain can you take away? Make sure your Ad headline reinforces what’s in it for them!
- Call to action
Ensure all ads (and landing pages) contain a single clear CTA (call to action). What you want people to do at each step in your “sales funnel” should be crystal clear.
- Display URLs
Google, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter all allow you to display a different URL than the page you’re actually sending your visitors to. Make sure the URL you display reinforces the message in your ads and your landing pages. E.g if you’re selling “red shoes” then http://www.shoeshop.com/redshoes would be perfect.
- Landing Pages
Whether you use a service like Unbounce, Leadpages or simply send traffic to your own website. Ensure the “landing page” you send your visitors to reinforces the message conveyed in your ads. These pages should have a single goal (tracked) and clear CTAs linked to that goal! The less distraction the better. People are increasingly short of time and the quicker you can help navigate them to taking the desired action the better.
- Test, Test and Test Again
Before you spend any money, make sure each step in your “sales funnel” is working. Click your tracking links, view the visit in Google Analytics. Perform the action that you defined as a goal (buy something if needed) and ensure its all reporting as expected in Google Analytics. This isn’t very exciting but until it’s working correctly you will be flying blind
Once your ads are up and running, you can start viewing the results in Analytics and use that information to improve elements of the campaign. Improve the response rate by changing your ad headlines and copy. Improve the conversion rates on your landing pages by improving the offer and calls to action.
This can all seem like a daunting prospect initially, but if taken in bite-sized chunks you should be able to tackle all the items in the list relatively quickly. Most importantly you can begin to apply them to all the new online advertising campaigns you roll out.
Following the steps outlined above will get you well on the way to profitable online advertising that you can scale to grow your business!